Resources & Publications

Resources & Publications

Listings with an APPA logo are members’ publications or publications that featured substantial input from an APPA member

Aotearoa / Te Moananui-a-Kiwa

Regional Plastic Pollution Research

Eriksen M et al. (2013) “Plastic pollution in the South Pacific subtropical gyre”, Marine Pollution Bulletin 68.

First scientific paper to identify and quantify micro-plastic particles across the South Pacific Sub-Tropical Gyre. Recording an average abundance and mass at 26,898 particles and 70.96 g per square km, respectively. With the highest value of 396,342 particles per square km occurring near the center of the predicted accumulation zone.

Royal Society Te Apārangi (2019) Plastics in the Environment, Te Ao Hurihuri – The Changing World: Evidence Summary

A NZ-focused overview of the creation, use and disposal of plastics; plastic debris in the environment; plastic’s effects on human, animal and environmental health; and how we can reduce plastic pollution.

Croft, F. & Farrelly. T. (2021). Tackling the problem of marine plastic pollution in New Zealand’s fin fish industry. Case Study: Moana NZ. London: Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU).

This study aims to seek ways to prevent marine plastic pollution leakage in New Zealand’s commercial fin fishing industry supply chains. Drawing on a case study approach, this research investigates how sea and land-based plastic material flows are perceived by those working for commercial fishing company Moana NZ. It considers current global, regional and national policies, as well as current initiatives that seek to minimise marine plastic pollution and considers the potential for their implementation in this context. This study also acknowledges the significant role that industry can play in implementing best practice guided by the top of the zero waste hierarchy.

NZ Policy Solutions

Analyses how the Plastic-Free New Zealand Action Plan can be operationalised using the Waste Minimisation Act 2008 and recommends: mandatory phase-outs of certain problematic plastic items, a nationwide container deposit scheme, requirements that manufacturers take back packaging for refill, controls on manufacture to mitigate problematic design features, fees for the management of certain problematic plastic products, labelling requirements, product stewardship, improved data collection, and a ban on plastic recycling exports.

Blumhardt, H. (2019) Implementing the Plastic-Free New Zealand Action Plan: A Policy Paper from Greenpeace New Zealand (prepared on behalf of Greenpeace New Zealand).

Sustainable Business Network Circular Economy Accelerator (2018) New Zealand’s Plastic Packaging System: An Initial Circular Economy Diagnosis

A report drawing on the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy framework and interviews with over 40 representatives of New Zealand’s plastic packaging sector. The report makes the case for a circular economy approach to plastic packaging in New Zealand, including eliminating and fundamentally redesigning problematic plastic packaging, moving from single-use to reuse systems, and recycling with radically improved economics and quality.

Blumhardt, H. (2018) “Trashing Waste: Unlocking the Wasted Potential of New Zealand’s Waste Minimisation ActPolicy Quarterly 14(4).

An overview of the untapped policy potential of the Waste Minimisation Act 2008. The article outlines a range of policy solutions available to the government to address New Zealand’s waste problems (including the problem of plastics), analyses why these policy tools have been underutilised to date, and proffers a roadmap for overcoming the identified obstacles.

Bioplastics and Compostable Plastics

WasteMINZ Resources on Compostable packaging (including Best Practice Guidelines for the Advertising of Compostable Products and Packaging).

Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (2018) Biodegradable and Compostable Plastics in the Environment.

Northcott, G. and Pantos, O. (2018) Biodegradation and Environmental Impact of Oxo-Degradable and Polyhydroxyalkanoate and Polylactic Acid Biodegradable Plastics (prepared for the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment)

Resources to take action in your community

Sustainable Coastlines Litter Intelligence (New Zealand)

Sustainable Coastlines engages, trains and supports ‘Citizen Scientists’ around Aotearoa to collect and input data on litter found on New Zealand coastlines. The Litter Intelligence website shares this data, provides insights, and inspires action for a litter-free Aotearoa. The programme is funded by the Ministry for the Environment’s Waste Minimisation Fund and works in close collaboration with Statistics New Zealand and the Department of Conservation. As New Zealand’s first national litter database, Litter Intelligence is helping build a better understanding of the problem.

The Rubbish Trip Regional Zero Waste Shopping Guides and Interactive Map (for New Zealand) .

Find where you can get unpackaged/refillable groceries and zero waste lifestyle essentials, all across Aotearoa New Zealand.

International / Global

Global Plastic Pollution Research

Fabres, J, Savelli, H, Schoolmeester, T, Rucevska, I, Baker, E (2016) Marine Litter Vital Graphics (UN-Environment, GRID-Arendal.

A UNEP and GRID-Arendal publication that explores the issue of plastic pollution in its entireity through infographics. A great reference document for figures, data and imagery on everything from what is plastic pollution to possible policy responses to the issue and what are the big questions left unanswered. 

Eriksen M, Lebreton LCM, Carson HS, Thiel M, Moore CJ, et al. (2014) “Plastic Pollution in the World’s Oceans: More than 5 Trillion Plastic Pieces Weighing over 250,000 Tons Afloat at SeaPLoS ONE 9(12): e111913. doi:10.1371/ journal.pone.0111913.

The popular paper released in 2014 that estimates there’s more than 5 Trillion plastic pieces in the World’s oceans through quantifying the total number of plastic particles and their weight from 24 expeditions. 

Ryberg, MW, Laurent, A, and Hauschild, M. (2018) Mapping of Global Plastics Value Chain and Plastics Losses to the Environment: with a particular focus on marine environment (United Nations Environment Prorgramme: Nairobi).

Moore, CJ (2019) “Invasion of the biosphere by synthetic polymers: What our current knowledge may mean for our futureACTA OCEANOLOGICA SINICA 38(5): 161-174

A published opinion piece by one of the early leaders in Ocean Plastic Pollution, Captain Charles Moore that looks to highlight the ubiquitous nature of plastic pollution throughout our biosphere and what this may mean for our future. 

Global Policy Solutions

Chung-Sum, L et al (2018) “A Comprehensive Analysis of Plastics and Microplastic Legislation WorldwideWater Air Soil Pollut 229:345.

Dauvergne, P. (2018) “Why is the Global Governance of Plastic Failing the Oceans?Global Environmental Change 51, 22-31.

Draft Pacific Regional Action Plan: Marine Litter (2018-2025)

World Economic Forum, Ellen MacArthur Foundation and McKinsey & Company (2016) The New Plastics Economy: rethinking the future of plastics.

Relationship between Plastics, Fossil Fuels and Climate Change

Hamilton, LA, Feit, S., Kelso, M., Rubright, SM., Bernhardt, C., Schaeffer, E., Moon, D., Morris, J., Lebbe-Bellas, R. (2019) Plastic and Climate: The Hidden Costs of a Plastic Planet (Centre for International Environmental Law, Environmental Integrity Project, FracTracker, Gaia, 5Gyres).